Sydney, NS – The number one seed Carleton Ravens women’s basketball team defeated the Saint Mary’s University (SMU) in the U SPORTS Final 8 semi-final 65-46.
Carleton led wire-to-wire on route to their first 5-46 victory behind a gruelling defence that forced SMU to shoot 21 per cent from the field and 13 percent from three.
It was evident that the east coast crowd was making themselves heard in the first quarter and the game was for the taking. OUA first team all star Kali Pocrnic hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 13 heading to the second quarter.
Pocrnic followed up by hitting a tough driving layup to start the second quarter. She controlled the pace of play, scored a game-high 17 points, and dished out seven dimes.
The game took a sour turn when AUS Defensive Player of the Year and AUS all-star Clara Gasciogne suffered a left ankle injury. Gasciogne, a standout for the Huskies all-season and in their AUS championship winning game, did not return to the game.
Gasciogne’s injury seemed to hobble the the rest of the Huskies pack, and the Ravens took off to the lockerroom with a 36-26 lead.
Pocrnic used her patented two foot stop and pivoted for a fadeaway baseline jumper to extend Carleton’s lead to 15 points in the early stages of the third frame.
The east coast crowd waited anxiously for SMU to make a push but the Ravens defense stood strong and cooled the Huskies shooting to 18 per cent.
Sophia Widmeyer was the only double-digit scorer for the Huskies, she had 16 points to go along with eight rebounds. But the fourth quarter was much of the same. Pocrnic hit a floater to extend Carleton’s lead to 22 and the Huskies hopes faded.
Overall, the Ravens have won 18 of their last 19 games. They will look to replicate their 2018 run; when they were the first seed, OUA champs, and won the U SPORTS Final 8.
Their finals opponents, the Queens Gaels, have won 25 of their 27 games in the 2022-23 season. But their only two losses, fittingly, are against the Ravens. One of those losses came in the OUA finals.
The two familiar foes will tip-off for the national championship on Sunday March 12 at 5 pm ET.